2017 NFL Draft updated big board

It’s time for another update to my overall prospect rankings for the 2017 NFL Draft. This time around, I’m expanding my big board from 50 to 75 prospects, the top half of which is dominated by defense and the SEC.

1. Myles Garrett | EDGE | Texas A&M
Garrett stays at the top of my board, and frankly, I don’t see that changing between now and draft day. He’s not just a one-trick pass-rushing pony, as his added bulk has made him much more effective as a run defender in 2016. A quarterback could definitely go No. 1 overall, but make no mistake: Garrett is the best overall prospect in this class.

2. Jonathan Allen | DL | Alabama
I’m starting to feel about Allen like I did about Leonard Williams in 2015. There will probably be a couple of quarterback selected before him, but he’s going to be one of the top two or three overall prospects in this class. His combination of size, power and quickness makes him a constant mismatch.

3. Jabrill Peppers | DB | Michigan
People keep asking where NFL teams should play Peppers, and my answer is still the same: anywhere and everywhere. He can play corner on the outside or in the slot, he can play the single-high safety role or come down into the box. Hybrid defenders are all the rage in today’s NFL, and Peppers is this year’s best.

4. DeShone Kizer | QB | Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish are a golden-domed train wreck right now, but don’t let that cloud your judgement about Kizer’s pro potential. He checks all the boxes in terms of physical tools and intangibles, and could be the No. 1 overall pick this year if he comes out early, regardless of Notre Dame’s record.

5. Deshaun Watson | QB | Clemson
Watson’s 2016 season has been up-and-down, but think his mistakes are correctable in the long run. If he can improve his consistency in terms of ball placement, he has dynamic physical talent that could easily be worthy of a top-five selection.

6. Dalvin Cook | RB | Florida State
Both Cook and Leonard Fournette have been banged up this season, and I still like Cook as the better pro prospect. He may not be quite as powerful, but he still puts his massive lower body to good use, and is just a shade more explosive than Fournette, as well as more effective as a pass-catcher.

7. Leonard Fournette | RB | LSU
Fournette has missed a decent chunk of action due to injury this year, but that might actually end up working in his favor. Every hit he doesn’t take in college leaves more tread on his tires for the pro game, where running backs tend to have a quick shelf life. There’s no denying his rare combination of size, speed, power and athleticism, and he should be a top-10 lock next April.

8. Desmond King | CB | Iowa
I know I’m probably higher than most on King, but that was the case last year, too. He would have been my top CB in the 2016 draft class, and he’s still my top CB this year. He’s got the size and ball skills to be a shut-down cover man in the NFL, but it’s his physical mentality that sets him apart for me.

9. Malik McDowell | DL | Michigan State
Looking for a versatile, disruptive force who can line up anywhere on the defensive line and impact the run and pass game equally? If so, McDowell is your man. His power/explosiveness combo is a handful for any blocker, and his athleticism and scheme versatility could make him a top-10 pick.

10. Jamal Adams | S | LSU
This year’s running back class gets all the press, but the crop of safeties eligible for the 2017 draft is off the charts, too. Adams is a balanced prospect who is equally comfortable over the deep middle and down in the box. The Eric Berry comparisons are legit.

11. Mike Williams | WR | Clemson
In this year’s WR class, it looks like Williams and then a sizable gap before the next guy. He’s got the prototypical frame of a No. 1 NFL target, and checks all the boxes when it comes to both physical and mental tools. He may not be as explosive as former Tiger Sammy Watkins, but he’s more physical.

12. Reuben Foster | LB | Alabama
There are a handful of impressive linebackers in this class, but Foster is beginning to separate himself from the pack. He’s replaced Reggie Ragland as the heart in the middle of the Tide’s dominant defense, but he’s got more range and athleticism than his predecessor, with all the toughness and physicality.

13. Quincy Wilson | CB | Florida
Heading into the season, he wasn’t the corner getting hype in Gainesville as possibly the best prospect in the class, but his play so far this season is changing plenty of minds. He may not be quite as fluid as Teez Tabor, but he’s got size, athleticism, ball skills and no off-field concerns.

14. Derek Barnett | EDGE | Tennessee
After his performance against Alabama’s Cam Robinson last week, Barnett jumps up to my No. 2 edge defender spot. He’s a dynamic rusher, but also has the size and strength to effectively anchor against the run. There’s no arguing with his production, either (26 sacks, 44.5 tackles for loss in 33 career games).

15. Malik Hooker | S | Ohio State
In a deep safety class, Hooker is gaining more and more steam as the season moves along. Stuck behind Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell last year, the redshirt sophomore is making the most of his opportunity in the starting lineup. Even with two more years of eligibility, Hooker could make the early jump to the NFL after this season and easily land in the first round.

16. Marlon Humphrey | CB | Alabama
Alabama just keeps churning out first-round defensive backs, and Humphrey is next in line. He’s got the size and length to hang with bigger receivers, and his NFL bloodlines certainly don’t hurt.

17. Raekwon McMillan | LB | Ohio State
Athletic and physical, McMillan can play inside or outside, chasing plays down from sideline to sideline and using his speed and range to shut down passing lanes. The Buckeyes’ defense is loaded with top prospects again this year, and McMillan is at the heart of the entire unit.

18. Carl Lawson | EDGE | Auburn
Injuries will be the only thing that hold Lawson back, as he’s averaging a sack per game so far this year. His six sacks in 2016 are more than he’s bagged over the rest of his career, so he’s hitting his stride at just the right time. The SEC is loaded with pass-rushing talent, and Lawson is among the best when healthy.

19. Cam Robinson | OT | Alabama
We’re used to seeing at least one tackle in the top-5/10 range, but I don’t see one worthy of it yet this year. Robinson is the best of the bunch right now, but that’s not saying much. He’s more elite athlete than polished blocker at this point, but his physical traits and the position’s scarcity in this class are likely to get him taken in the top 15.

20. DeMarcus Walker | DL | Florida State
Walker exploded with 4.5 sacks in the Noles’ season opener against Ole Miss, and he’s bagged four more in the six games since. His versatility and nasty, physical playing style remind me of one of my favorite 2016 prospects, Florida’s Jonathan Bullard.

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